New rules on cars and motorbikes in races must be introduced, a racer has said, after narrowly escaping a car in Itzulia Basque Country.
Kévin van Melsen, a Belgian rider from Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, crashed on the first stage of Itzulia and was almost hit first by a camera bike, then by a car in the convoy behind the group he was in.
Following the incident, the 35-year-old man tweeted (opens in a new tab): “A few centimeters away, we are living a new drama… the bikes and the cars must be so close to the pilots???!! It’s time to act!!!”
He tagged organizations such as cycling’s governing body, the UCI, and the riders’ union, the CPA.
In response, the CPA tweeted (opens in a new tab): “You’re right Kévin. This is yet another example of the urgency of introducing a minimum safety distance between vehicles and riders into the regulations, which, as you know, we have asked the other stakeholders.”
A few centimeters away, we are living a new drama… motorcycles and cars must be so close to the riders ???!! It’s time to act !!! @cpacycling @UCI_cycling #shameful #onapprentidriendupasse #velortbf pic.twitter.com/jiE6osyN2tApril 6, 2022
Despite new rules introduced last year, which UCI President David Lappartient described as “unprecedented safety measures for riders”, riders are still known to be unhappy with race safety, the Van Melsen incident being the latest example.
Talk to weekly cycling last month, several runners said that the measurements had not made a noticeable difference and that there were still several things to correct.
Motorcycles are involved in the race to provide live coverage for viewers or set photographers to take pictures. The cars can come from the race organization, from the neutral service or from the teams themselves.
Van Melsen tweeted that the TV bikes didn’t need to be so close to the riders. “With current cameras, I don’t think it’s necessary to be in the rider’s wheel…if he falls in front of the bike and not to the side, there’s no escape for the rider. avoid,” he said.
The Belgian did not start the second leg of the race.